(SPOILERS for the latest episode of The Walking Dead follow.)
Tonight's episode of The Walking Dead was surely one that'll be talked about, especially for fans of both the comics and the television series. In "Sing Me A Song," we get to see Carl and Negan bonding under strange circumstances. The two meet unexpectedly when Carl is found to be hiding in one of Negan's vans returning from Alexandria. Most fans would assume that Carl being found would immediately lead to Negan killing him, but that's not how tonight's episode of The Walking Dead played out.
Instead of killing Carl, Negan decided to give Carl a tour around the Sanctuary. During the tour, Negan shows Carl a different side to who he is. Negan is still the devilish psychopath that executed two of our favorite survivors, but he also shows there's some humanity within him as well — to be clear, "some" humanity. Aside from Negan acting partly like a human being for once (though not so much when it came to the iron torture scene), there were several moments in tonight's episode taken directly from the comics, depicting Negan's signature style of bravado as he confronts a misguided Carl Grimes.
In the comics, when Carl ventures out to Negan's safe-haven known as the Sanctuary, he creates an unlikely friendship with Negan. That's not to say Negan and Carl are friends but they're on their way there. The two come to an agreement on how to proceed after Carl breaks into the Sanctuary and kills several of Negan's men. Their agreement leads to Negan giving Carl a tour around the Sanctuary. During said tour, Negan forces Carl through some very emotionally tense situations which results in Carl bursting into tears. After their rough patch in Negan's private quarters, the two begin to grow an odd friendship.
Tonight's episode of The Walking Dead, "Sing Me A Song," mirrors those pages from the comics wherein Negan meets with Carl under similar circumstances.
After Carl successfully recovers a machine gun from the weapons stash in the van, he begins killing several of Negan's men before anyone can step in. When Carl loses control of the rifle, Dwight finds an opportunity to restrain Carl. At this point, it looks like Dwight is going to kill him, but Negan puts a stop to it. Negan then takes Carl on a tour of the compound, to which Negan explains how things work within the Sanctuary.
Carl Is Forced To Show Negan His Eye
During their tour together, Carl continues to give Negan reasons to kill him, but it never comes. When the two of them arrive at Negan's private quarters, they have an in-detailed discussion of Carl's eye, up until the point that Carl has to remove the bandages from his face. Once the bandages are removed, Carl stands proudly, sporting his scars like medals in front of Negan — but he isn't prepared for Negan's reaction to the grotesque wound. Negan responds to seeing Carl's disfigured eye with some crass comments that eventually cause Carl to break down and cry in front of him.
To Negan, it didn't seem like his comments would affect Carl so deeply, but Negan fails to realize that Carl is still a kid with emotions — so insensitive comments towards something as deep as losing his eye are bound to be received as no joke. Once Negan realized his mistake, he consoled Carl and took him to the last stop on their tour.
Negan Makes Carl 'Sing A Song' As Punishment For Killing Some Of Negan's Saviors
As recompense for killing several of the Saviors, Carl now has to "sing a song" for the Saviors while Negan performs some practice swings with his baseball bat quite close to Carl's head. Carl flinches as Negan begins to swing closer and closer but eventually Carl starts to cry again.
Carl hasn't shown very much emotion since he lost his eye, so it seems like crying in front of Negan has broken his mental reserve to be strong, thus tearing down the emotional barriers built up since the incident.
Negan Burns The Face Of His Own Follower With A Hot Iron
Aside from Negan psychologically breaking Carl down, he also did something else to instill some shock/fear in Carl. Similar to how the scene played out in the comics, Negan gets his hot iron and burns Mark's face — the same Savior who gets branded in the comics.
The image of Negan burning the face of one his men is taken directly from the comics and has been foreshadowed several times throughout Season 7. Even the opening credits for Season 7 of The Walking Dead featured Negan's hot iron before it was ever spoken of.
Then there's also Dwight's face. Dwight was one of the first The Walking Dead characters to have their face burnt by Negan's iron...but he surely won't be the last.
All these identical events taken from the comics are beginning to create the impression that next week's mid-season finale will conclude with several more comic events being depicted on The Walking Dead television series. Do you think more comic events are coming in the mid-season finale of The Walking Dead? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below!
The Walking Dead airs Sundays at 9 P.M. on AMC. Episode 8 "Hearts Still Beating" airs next week. Episode 9 will air when The Walking Dead returns from its winter hiatus.